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Breastfeeding patients

 

Patients are educated regarding the safety of breastfeeding specific to the procedure they are undergoing

 

+ Effects of radiation and contrast media on breast milk

  • The vast majority of diagnostic imaging procedures (including X-ray, CT, MRI) have no significant effect on breast milk, and pose no known risk to the breastfeeding infant.1,2
  • Some nuclear medicine procedures do require a modification to breastfeeding (also see Breastfeeding in nuclear medicine guideline for more information).
  • Current research indicates that it is safe to breastfeed following radiation therapy, if the mother is still capable of lactation.3,4
    • Breastfeeding is contraindicated, however, during concurrent chemotherapy5

 

  • Current research also indicates it is safe to breastfeed after receiving a contrast agent.6
    • Only a miniscule amount of contrast agent is passed from mother to baby through breast milk

+ Patient education

  • Some mothers may have concern about the effects of diagnostic imaging or radiation therapy on breastfeeding.
    • MRTs ensure that patients have been provided with information and explanations to make fully informed decisions about breastfeeding and the possible need for pumping breast milk or using formula7
    • Patients can be provided with or directed to educational resources regarding the safety of breastfeeding following diagnostic imaging or radiation therapy

+ References

  1. Aurora Healthcare. For Your Well Being. Radiology Tests: Advice for the Breastfeeding Mother. Available at: http://www.aurorahealthcare.org/FYWB_pdfs/x30884.pdf. Accessed March 21, 2013.
  2. American Association of Family Physicians. Breastfeeding, Family Physicians Supporting (Position Paper). Available at: http://www.aafp.org/online/en/home/policy/policies/b/breastfeedingpositionpaper.html. Accessed March 21, 2013.
  3. Oncolink. Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania. Breast feeding during radiation therapy. Available at: http://www.oncolink.org/experts/article.cfm?id=2596. Accessed March 21, 2013.
  4. Helewa M, Vesque PL, Provencher D, et al. Breast cancer, pregnancy and breastfeeding. J Obstet Gynaecol Can 2002;24(2):164-180.
  5. Canadian Pediatric Society. The Baby-Friendly Initiative: Protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding (Position Statement). Available at: http://www.cps.ca/documents/position/baby-friendly-initiative-breastfeeding. Accessed March 21, 2013.
  6. American College of Radiology Committee on Drugs and Contrast Media. ACR Manual on Contrast Media. Available at: http://www.acr.org/~/media/ACR/Documents/PDF/QualitySafety/Resources/Contrast%20Manual/FullManual.pdf. Accessed March 21, 2013.
  7. American Association of Family Physicians. Breastfeeding, Family Physicians Supporting (Position Paper). Available at: http://www.aafp.org/online/en/home/policy/policies/b/breastfeedingpositionpaper.html. Accessed March 21, 2013.

 

 

Validation

October 16, 2013

 

 
Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists
85 Albert St, Suite 1000, Ottawa, ON, K1P 6A4
phone: 613 234-0012 / 800 463-9729
fax: 613 234-1097
www.camrt.ca